At the Washington Post:
Recent events suggest that the 44th president may not be immune to the phenomenon that historians call the “second-term curse.”Well, at least the media itself is beginning, ever so slightly, to shed it's protective attack dog role and actually report on this clusterf-k administration's endless corruption, scandal, and incompetence. 2016 can't come too soon.
Not four months after his ambitious inaugural address, President Obama finds himself struggling to move his legislative agenda through an unbudging Congress.
And over the past week, two flaring controversies — one over his administration’s handling of the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya, the other over Internal Revenue Service employees targeting tea party groups for special scrutiny — have dominated the discussion in Washington.
It is far from clear how big a political liability either will turn out to be.
At a minimum, they represent diversions working against a president who is keenly aware of how little time he has left to achieve big things. And they are a test of the insular Obama team’s skill at keeping its footing in an environment of hyperpartisan politics and hair-trigger media.
On Friday, for instance, news of the IRS admission and developments surrounding the Benghazi attack turned White House press secretary Jay Carney’s daily briefing into a feeding frenzy and drowned out coverage of a speech that Obama was giving that day on the implementation of the health-care law that stands as his biggest achievement.
“After the election, the president said he was familiar with the literature on second-term difficulties,” said presidential historian Michael Beschloss. “We scholars may be about to see whether knowledge of that history can help a president when they begin to strike.”
“What we’ve seen in the past week reignites the question scholars ask about problematic second terms,” Beschloss added. “Is it mainly a coincidence that every president of the past 80 years has had a hard time after getting reelected? Or is it somehow baked into the structure of a second-term presidency that some combination of serious troubles is going to happen?”
White House officials acknowledge that the history of modern second-term presidencies is a sobering one, replete with scandal and failure.
But they insist that they have seen nothing to suggest that Obama will fall into the traps that have ensnared so many of his predecessors: nothing that rivals the Watergate investigation that drove Richard M. Nixon out of office in 1974, the Iran-contra scandal that nearly derailed Ronald Reagan’s presidency in 1986,or the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.
More at that top link.